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Crispy Air Fryer Cauliflower

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If you’re looking for a low-calorie snack that is packed full of nutrients, crispy air fryer cauliflower is the dish for you! Ready in just fifteen minutes, this simple air fryer cauliflower recipe is great as a snack, appetizer, or tasty side dish. Vegan, gluten-free, and keto-friendly.

A white plate topped with crispy air fried cauliflower with a side of lime yogurt.

❤️ Why You Will Love This Recipe

  • This crispy air fryer cauliflower recipe is super easy to make with only a handful of ingredients needed!
  • Air frying makes for cauliflower with delightfully crispy edges and satisfying texture.
  • It’s great on its own as a healthy snack or appetizer with a dipping sauce or as a healthy vegetable side dish served alongside a main dish.
  • Air fryer cauliflower is naturally gluten-free, vegan, low carb, keto-friendly, plant-based, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free.

🧂 Ingredient Notes

Cauliflower: A head of cauliflower, cut into florets. See the full instructions below for details on how to prepare cauliflower florets. Alternatively, you can use frozen cauliflower florets to cut preparation time.

Oil: I like to use avocado oil or olive oil because they are great sources of healthy fats.


Smoked paprika: This is used in many Spanish dishes. Smoked paprika has a chargrilled bold flavor that comes from being dried over an open fire. The smoky flavor combines with the characteristic earthy, slightly sweet taste of the red peppers used to make it.

Cumin seeds: Brings a rich, slightly citrus edge to your dish.

Garlic powder: Powdered garlic is perfect for this recipe as it coats cauliflower more effectively than fresh garlic and adds that special extra flavor.

Freshly ground black pepper!

A hand holding an air fry cauliflower floret.

🔪 How to Cut Cauliflower

It can be tricky to know what to do with the heads of cauliflower! Luckily they’re quick and easy to prepare – I’ll take you through the steps I follow here.

  • Begin by removing the leaves from the head of the whole cauliflower. Don’t throw them away! Cauliflower leaves are deliciously roasted with salt and olive oil or stir-fried with ginger and honey. 
  • Next, using a sharp knife, cut the cauliflower in half through the stem, and then lay the halves on the chopping board and cut them in half again so that you have four quarters.
  • Now, remove the core. Hold the cauliflower quarter and carefully angle the knife to cut the core away from the rest of the cauliflower. Like the leaves, the cauliflower core is entirely edible; I’ve just removed it as it’s easier to make florets this way.
  • Finally, pull the individual florets apart using your hands.
A plate filled air fryer cauliflower.

🥣 How to Air Fry Cauliflower

  1. Once you have your florets, you’re ready to make this cauliflower air fryer recipe! 
  2. Begin by adding the florets to a large bowl, then combine cauliflower and the seasoning blend and oil. Toss the florets in the oil and spice mixture to coat them.
  3. Place them in the basket of the air fryer in a single layer and air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes, giving the basket a shake a few times throughout the cooking time, until golden brown. Cook in batches if needed depending on the size of your air fryer.
  4. Serve the cooked cauliflower on its own, as an easy side dish, or with a tasty dipping sauce!

🍽️ How to Serve Air Fryer Cauliflower

This crispy air-fried cauliflower is delicious on its own as a snack, but you can make it even better by serving it with your favorite sauce. Some of my favorites are:

  • This BBQ sauce (it’s vegan and gluten-free!)
  • A delicious romesco sauce perfectly complements the slightly nutty flavor of cauliflower.
  • Try fried cauliflower with habanero hot sauce if you like your snacks with a kick!
  • Creamy turmeric tahini sauce pairs nicely with the cauliflower, and it’s vegan and gluten-free, too! This sauce is one of my favorites as it goes so well with multiple cuisines. Slightly spicy and packed full of flavor, you’re guaranteed to love it.
  • And, of course, ranch dressing is a classic accompaniment!

You can also serve up your cauliflower as a delicious side dish to complement your main meal. A favorite in my house is a portion with this spicy roasted red pepper and chipotle pumpkin seed pasta bowl or a delicious spicy roasted pumpkin quinoa bowl.

A close up shot of crispy spiced air fried cauliflower florets resting on white ceramic plate.

🥡 How to Store and Reheat

If you want to store your leftovers, seal them in an airtight container in the fridge along with a square of kitchen paper to catch any excess moisture. It will keep for a couple of days.

I wouldn’t recommend freezing your air fryer cauliflower as it will lose some of its texture in the freezer and go a bit mushy.

A great way to reheat them is in the air fryer; this way, they will retain their crispy texture. Heating any other way won’t work as well.

To reheat in the air fryer, heat it to 400°F and heat for 3-4 minutes. 

A close view of crispy cauliflower florets baked in an air fryer.


Can I use frozen cauliflower florets?

Yes, you can! I would recommend using fresh cauliflower for the best results, but frozen cauliflower florets will work well. 
If you’re using frozen cauliflower florets, there’s no need to defrost them before cooking – just pop them in the air fryer from frozen.

Can I make this oil-free?

Using oil will ensure that your cauliflower florets go nice and crispy; however, you don’t have to use oil. 
If you prefer not to use oil, rinse your cauliflower florets in water before tossing in the spices and drain but don’t completely dry. The small amount of water on the cauliflower will ensure that the spices stick to the surface of the cauliflower – you can then follow the rest of the recipe as written.

An air fryer cauliflower floret dipped in yogurt.

♨️ More Air Fryer Recipes

Air Fryer Onion Rings

Air Fryer Falafel

Air Fryer Parsnips

Air Fryer Halloumi

🍲 More Cauliflower Recipes

Baked Cauliflower Wings with Sticky Habanero Honey Sauce

Gluten-Free Cauliflower Cheese

BBQ Roasted Cauliflower Salad

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Rice Curry

air fryer cauliflower recipe

Air Fryer Cauliflower Recipe

If you’re looking for a low-calorie snack that is packed full of nutrients, crispy air fryer cauliflower is the dish for you! Ready in just fifteen minutes, this simple air fryer cauliflower recipe is great as a snack, appetizer or perfect side dish.
4.99 from 56 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Air Fryer
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Kristen Wood


  • 1 medium head cauliflower cut into 1-2 inch florets
  • 1 tablespoon oil I like to use avocado or olive
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower florets, oil, salt, paprika, garlic, cumin and pepper. Toss all to coat.
  • Place in a single layer in an air fryer basket and air fry at 400°F for 15 minutes, giving the basket a toss halfway through.
  • Enjoy as is or with a favorite condiment!


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 71kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 250IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 1mg

Recommended Products

Avocado Oil
Smoked Paprika
Cumin Seeds
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Recipe Rating



  1. 5 stars
    This air fryer cauliflower is a new addition to my go-to pack lunch recipe! It makes a great meal. It is so crispy and incredibly delicious! Plus, it is a guilt-free meal!

  2. I recently tried this recipe and it was amazing! The cauliflower turned out crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside, and the seasoning was just perfect.

  3. 5 stars
    These air fried treats satisfy like something deep fried but are so much healthier. Yum!

  4. 5 stars
    This is on our weekly rotation! I make a batch of cauliflower in the air fryer, and then repurpose it in many dishes – seriously couldn’t get any easier or tastier!

  5. 5 stars
    Things are starting to heat up near me and this was the perfect recipe to not heat up the house. I love the cumin seeds!

  6. 5 stars
    This might be my new favorite way to “roast” cauliflower. They turned out perfectly cooked and were so flavorful too!

  7. 5 stars
    This is such an easy way to make a vegetable side! I really like the addition of the cumin seeds!

  8. 5 stars
    I’m always looking for new ways to use my air fryer and this recipe was a winner! Loads of flavour and easy to make too!

  9. 5 stars
    These cauliflower florets were crispy and delicious. This recipe is a keeper and one I will make over and over again.